As you long term readers will recognize, this is the favorite question asked of me at cocktail and dinner parties, in the grocery, at the beach, and anywhere I encounter friends and past clients. While never a simple answer, there are some points worth recognizing.
This spring and early summer, my inquiries requesting information about real estate are on the rise. Both Hilton Head and Bluffton have been highly acknowledged by popular magazines as the best places to visit, live and retire. It is no surprise that potential buyers have an ever-increasing interest in moving to our beloved Lowcountry.
Although this might seem like old history, there are several new developments on the island, new ones getting underway in Bluffton and undeveloped properties under construction in previously established areas like Palmetto Bluff, Colleton River, Oldfield, Belfair, Berkeley Hall and Hampton Hall. This new construction continually adds to the expansion of Hilton Head Island and Bluffton.
This is not the only expansion currently underway. As some of the northern states have faced a declining population, our desirability as a place to live has led to expansion beyond the Beaufort County borders, too.
Neighboring Jasper County has unprecedented growth since the 2010 census. Latitude Margaritaville, Sun City Hilton Head, Hilton Head Lakes and Hearthstone Lakes have contributed much to the growth and will have an even greater impact in the near future.
While Jasper County’s real estate taxes are higher than Beaufort County’s as it develops a more complete infrastructure, there are positive trade-offs, too. The developers often promise more efficient homes with many “green” features that are very important to buyers. Additionally, homeowners’ insurance is less expensive. Often, these homes are close to the Savannah Airport and I-95 for residents who still commute for work or need to be able to drive to assist family members on short notice.
Churches, grocery store chains, and private schools are among those who are investing in the upcoming population. Recently, Church of the Cross purchased a large site in the Argent Road area with an eye towards another school and church to better serve these potential new members. Publix has announced another store at Highway 170 and May River Road that will substantially reduce commute time for Palmetto Bluff and other New River residents to purchase food products.
We are very fortunate to have room for growth. It is understandable that more and more people want to relocate here to enjoy our weather and beautiful surroundings. Compromise is a must in working with developers in the area. While they may initially request higher densities, it is encouraging to see the municipalities and developers being able to negotiate something in the middle that is beneficial to the environment, infrastructure, and lifestyle we greatly enjoy.
My suggestion to you is this: Come for a visit soon and choose your little part of paradise. There are many good options and you can select the location and lifestyle that are perfect for you. If you would like to check out the lifestyle first hand, some communities offer special programs. For example, Colleton River and Oldfield have some great programs for a Membership Experience or Discovery Visit. If a new home is of interest at Sun City Hilton Head, they have a four-day Explore Package. No need to wait… Check it out. Looking forward to seeing you soon!